Peace Is Always Beginning, In Each Of Us

Driving today, after the five minute well-being revival, it came over me, a sense of importance of Inner Peace. The Peace Revolution, we say “it starts with me.” I feel that often, I take this to imply that I will work to achieve inner peace, then “spread” that “peace vibe” externally to those around me. But now I see the mission of my work with Peace Revolution differently. After transforming myself in the meditation room and heading about my day, I see my own capability to create peace. And, as a member of Peace Revolution, I see my role is to encourage others to find their own peace, for themselves, because we all must be centers of peace. I am learning that a true “peace activist” does not walk around with a paint bucket of “peace” and smear it across the expanses of our world. A “peace spreader” instead is like a gardener, planting seeds in others, seeds of happiness, of peace. The seeds came from somewhere else, but their growth, their fruit, belong to nature. It is up to me not to craft peace inside and “install” it somewhere. Instead, I can encourage people to touch the ground of their own being. It is ground we perhaps all share, we come from the same soil. To connect within is to access the element of being that we all share.
You are the center of existence … you are the center of peace itself.

Peace is not a status that is painted on existence, applied to our world. Peace exists literally inside of you. It is not something outside that “depends on you.” It is a gift you already have, but need to give to yourself, so that others may benefit. Isn’t that inspiring?

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Anxiety … Unease … Peace Prevails

For the past week, my mind, body, and heart have been in an accelerated, anxious state, as I prepare for my journey to Thailand for Peace Revolution’s Global Peace On The Move 8 Fellowship. Once there, I will be learning Inner Peace Techniques with people from all around the world, learning from experienced teachers and Buddhist monks.

Well, the journey to Inner Peace hasn’t always looked so peaceful! I am learning as I go about just what accommodations I need to make, and taking care of all the considerations of the fellowship retreat. This has involved continual time spent shopping, using the computer, and little sleep.

Also … little meditation.

I have grown very stressed as my nervousness kicks in about the unknown. I don’t even know what to expect from the retreat experience itself. Much is unknown, and every contact I have has told me not to expect anything, that it will all be glorious.

It has been a time of balancing relieving expectations while at the same time taking due diligence with certain matters that need attention.

In the midst of all this, I am of course still heading to work each day, and applying myself to those matters. Today, preparing for work, I noted to myself how I had not meditated fully in a few days, and I felt all the tensions in my body, how it pervaded every thought muscle, and breath. I decided to take the time to meditate for five minutes before heading out the door.

As I walked into the meditation room, a room I hadn’t entered for most of the week, and took a bow, I felt I was returning somewhere deep within me. As I lit the two candles in beside the altar, I felt the rigidity of my hands, the hurriedness of my hands. As I lit the incense stick from the candle flame, I felt the scent take me to a place in my being that I knew was always there, but had not touched in a while. I felt myself fixating mentally again, this time on the length of the session I was beginning. “What if this is not long enough? I suspect that for the full five minutes I will only be anxious about not having more time to still my mind. Then it will be over, I will be at a loss, and will feel hurried onto the next engagement.”

I took another bow, and sat down on the cushion.

I folded my legs, felt my spine straighten, and by the sheer posture of my body, my mental posture transformed almost immediately. I felt my spine was erected straight into the heavens, rooted to the earth, and perfectly balanced in gravity. This stillness, this physical rootedness, brought me to the calm of the ocean floor, well beneath the choppy surface of the waves.

I smiled as I noticed how quickly I reached stillness. Within seconds. By the end of the five minutes, I had become centered, in time, in myself. No longer was I coming or going, I felt rooted in my own motion as I stepped out to work.

I realized here, on this cushion, the value of my experience practicing meditation regularly since the beginning of this year. During one of the more frantic weeks in my life, I can touch this stillness, without question, amidst it all, and smile at my own being.

I also wish to express gratitude for the meditation room itself. The sacredness, the atmosphere and state of mind that this room commands, centers me just by walking in. Its effect and sheer importance in my life become apparent during the more unexpected moments in time.

This gratitude for having the space at all is what has driven me to create Inner Peace & Tea. I wish to share the space, and the opportunities that it brings forth.

All the same, I hope you can create a meditation room, or even a corner in a room that is sacred and used only for meditation, and experience the same experience as I.

Serenity Now?

Have you ever seen the Seinfeld episode “Serenity Now!” skits? Jerry’s dad and Kramer are both convinced that reciting these words brings peace of mind. In reality it serves simply as a mantra shouted amidst times of overpowering anger; dad stammering around during a shouting match with his wife … Kramer smashing appliances in rage when Jerry accidentally steps on a rose in the hallway.

What is Inner Peace?

At Peace Revolution, meditation practice is also dubbed “Inner Peace Time“, hence the inspiration for the name of this website. Just like the topic of meditation, interpreting the meaning of Inner Peace can be tricky. And, just like meditation, I believe the truth of it is surely more experiential than intellectual.

But still, knowing that much, it is easy to “expect” inner peace from our Inner Peace Time. If we don’t immediately see peacefulness, our experience can spiral into one of pervasive toil. We change positions constantly, we fixate on the meditation session itself, how it’s not working, or

“I’m not good at this, WHY am I not peaceful yet? WHY can’t I be calm? There’s nothing for me to be anxious about? My mind won’t sit still!”

However, how we deal with these aspects once we become aware of them is THE practice.

Ultimately, you could say that Inner Peace comes from the freedom of knowing we have a choice. The word PEACE makes us sometimes think of the state of things as they are. But then what if it’s raining or overcast in our mind?

Meditation can show us a new way of experiencing our mind—or show us, to begin with, that we are indeed always experiencing our mind.

Lately, for this reason, I like to think of Inner Peace more as Inner Connection. Meditation is a practice of seeing ourselves, not in any particular way, not in any holy way, and hopefully not with any expectation. Just seeing ourselves, as we currently are. The mind absolutely does not want to believe that this is all that’s necessary to meditate. It will secretively cling to a sense of happiness, and push away discomfort, negative thoughts, feelings, and distractions.

Have you ever noticed that “pushing” distractions away and “reaching” for peace of mind does not necessarily work? I have.

And … Doesn’t sound similar to “SERENITY NOW!”?

This strain and sense of discomfort, I find, are exactly my things to work on. There is a sense of friction caused by expectations grinding against actual experience—and if that friction is held in awareness, we can use it to see just how our mind look at this moment. Not in a way where we measure and analyze it, but in a observant way … where even in the midst of discomfort and mental strain, we can put our hand to our chin and say …

“hm. mhm? … mHM … hmm.”

Instead of shaping our experience, meditation can be an exercise in simply accessing our capability to perceive.

It just so happens that fine-tuning this neutrality and acute self-awareness naturally births acceptance of experience.

And this in turn births Self-Acceptance.

And it so happens that Self-Acceptance brings Inner Peace.

And Inner Peace already means Outer Peace.

The act of trying to experience any particular thing during or after meditation usually ends up in a similar frustration to Cosmo Kramer’s. Nevertheless, no matter what, while meditating, we are learning about how our mind looks.

Because happy and hatred, comfort and pain, are all held in the same mind.

Thankfully, meditation is an exercise that simply works poorly when there is negativity abound. And, more telling, the experience does not teach us that we should distinguish the negativity—this doesn’t seem to work, either. Instead, meditation can even show us how to deal with our negativity. Perhaps this ability is actually what leads to more positivity.

If we continually meditate, this sense of detached acceptance and awareness may pour into all experiences, not always in ways we can perceive. The very act of sitting down, the willingness to do so, can refine our being.

Can you try this willingness?